Journal List > J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs > v.21(1) > 1057960

Panuncio and Bae: The Adjusting Process of Foreign Wives Married to Korean Husbands



Purposes of this study were to explore the experiences of Filipinas living as foreign wives in Korea and to formulate a substantive theory that explains the basic social process of adjusting to life as a foreign wife in Korea.


This descriptive qualitative study utilized the grounded theory design. In-depth, semi-structured, audio-taped interviews were conducted with 10 Filipino immigrant wives in Korea. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using Strauss and Corbin's constant comparative analysis.


Six main categories emerged: aspiring, confronting, suffering, coping, assimilating, and regretting. Fundamental to these was the core category of embracing a new life. A theoretical model showing the basic social processes of adjusting to life as a foreign wife in Korea was developed to reflect the inter-relationships among these categories. Extracts of the data were presented to illustrate the grounding of the theoretical model in the participants' accounts.


The findings from this study provide an increase in the understanding of Filipino immigrant wives, which should help in designing effective coping strategies that consider the particular characteristics and problems of Filipino immigrant wives. Programs under existing policies need to undergo continuous improvement in order to increase the well-being of these immigrant wives.

Figures and Tables

Figure 1
Basic social processes of adjusting to life as foreign wives in Korea.
Table 1
Demographic Characteristics of Participants
Table 2
Embracing a New Life Paradigm


This article is a revision of the first author's master's thesis from Inje University.


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